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THE KINGDOM OF the SON of HIS LOVE Print E-mail
Written by Oshea Davis   
Monday, 10 June 2013

THE KINGDOM OF the SON of HIS LOVE

by Oshea Davis

 

Colossians 1:9,

He has delivered us from the power of darkness and conveyed us into the kingdom of the Son of His love.

 

          Being moved by God's Spirit, Paul, wrote the letter to the Colossian church around A.D. 53-55.  The Colossian church was started by a fellow Colossian named Epaphras, who might have come originally from Paul's teaching in Ephesus. Epaphras came to Paul when Paul was in imprisoned in Rome, and it appears that it was at this time Paul wrote this letter to the Colossian church (Acts 28, & Col. 4:12-13).

          Paul's letter might have been addressing some particular issues which Epaphras brought to Paul's attention, but since his letter is expansive and deep, and is mainly an exhibition of positive doctrines, in a systematic format, then whether one knows what these are, although potentially helpful, are unnecessary to the comprehensibly of the letter and/or unnecessary in understanding and building of ones faith in it. In fact, the universal aspect of the letter is seen in that Paul asked for this letter to be read to the church in Laodicea and the Laodicean letter read to them.

          "Paul's letter to the Colossians is an impressive piece of writing that weaves together high theology with holy living, and exhortations with warnings. One of its main themes is the fullness of Christ, and the fullness that Christians have in him. By this we mean that Christ's person and work are complete, and Christians have benefited from this completeness. Since this is the case, any attempt to supplement or replace the person and work of Christ is in fact to undermine and devalue him, thus severely compromising the integrity of the Christian faith. This is possibly an occasional letter that Paul has written to combat a specific heresy that looms over the church. However, it is unnecessary to assume this background in order to find the letter intelligible. This is because its positive exposition of sound doctrine is so rich, so broad and so deep, that it lends itself to universal application."[1]

          My friend Vincent also comments on this first chapter, on the verses immediately following our passage (v.14-19): "Christology is presented and emphasized, including the deity of Christ before and at the creation of the universe, and the humanity of Christ in the incarnation and atonement. As it sets forth a broad and coherent christology, the passage also relates to it epistemology (revelation), theology proper (God, Trinity, creation, providence), angelology and demonology (angels, demons, powers), anthropology (man), harmatiology (sin), soteriology (reconciliation, atonement, resurrection, conversion, faith, perseverance), ecclesiology (the nature, structure, and mission of the church), and eschatology (glorification, judgment, heaven, hell). [This type of systematic outline] is comprehensive and logical, and Paul uses almost the same outline in his speech on Mars Hill in Acts 17."[2]   

          The doctrine in this text (v.13-19) is board and short, but it a systematic theology structure, expressed particularly through the lens of Christ. This simplified form is great for sermons and also where time is short; and so, Paul used this outline starting in verse 14: "Christ the Revealer, Christ the Creator, Christ the Sustainer, and Christ the Redeemer."[3]  This is using Epistemology, the Doctrine of God, and of Redemption, and from a philosophy stance it gives us first principles, ontology, and metaphysics and ethics-(discussed later in the book).  From a theology viewpoint this gives us the (1) Doctrine of God, (2) doctrine of redemption and (3) the doctrine of ethics.

QUESTION: why are we told of these grand doctrines of Christology?

          We are told the Father has conveyed the saints out from the kingdom of darkness and then into the kingdom of the Son of His love (v.13), and so this Christology that follows (v.14-19) is told to us (Revealer, Creator, Sustainer and Redeemer) to expound on the greatness of the SON we have been grafted into, and this is done in order to fill our souls with faith in being brought into the kingdom of God's love for His Son.

          It is no surprise therefore, to find this entire book is structured in a simple type of philosophy or worldview argument; that is, it is organized by contrasting the Christian (1)first principles-i.e. epistemology, (2) metaphysics and (3) ethics/religious practice with the world's (1)first principles, (2) metaphysics and (3) ethics/religious practices. 

          Paul discusses first principles, or literally from the Greek "rudimentary principles,"[4] in chapter 2 verse 20, "Therefore, if you died with Christ from the basic principles (rudimentary or first)) of the world, why as though living in the world, do you subject yourselves to regulations." 

          Paul is showing us that if your basic or first principles of our Christian worldview reveal that Christ alone has saved us and brought us to God, then why are you walking in the world's way-of-thinking concerning ethics of "regulations?"  Paul is showing us how to be consistent in applying the Christian system-of-thinking.  See, God has revealed all things regarding man believing in Jesus Christ and walking after Him: it is a complete revelation for man in knowing and walking after God, until the restoration of all things in Christ's second coming. Therefore, there is no need for the Christian to find His first-principles in the Bible and then look to the world for ethics!  With the premises from the Scripture and with proper deduction the Christian is able to know whatever they need from their First Principle to know how to fully please God in faith in Christ and follow Him in all ethics and religious practice.

          The world has its "first principles" (v 2:8, 20) and from this starting point of knowledge the world also has its own metaphysics, ethics and doctrines for religious practice, or as verse 22 tells us the "doctrines of man" or "traditions": that is, from the first principles of the world it gives its own doctrines concerning how man lives and approaches God.  This is contrasted to Christ who is our superior First Principle (1:15, 27; 2:3); Christ who is our superior metaphysics and ontology (1:16, 27; 2:10, 19; 3:3-4); and Christ who is our superior ethics and practice (chapter 3-4).

          "Beware lest anyone cheat you through philosophy and empty deceit, according to the tradition of men according to the [first] principles of the world and not according to Christ."

          The world, if it cannot get the Saints to reject the Christian worldview out-right, will do all it can to harm the Christian by getting them to mix in worldly epistemologies, metaphysics and ethics into the Biblical worldview.  This book to the Colossians shows the Christian way-of-thinking is superior and compete compared to the worldly way-of-thinking, which is intellectually inferior, is incomplete and lacks true power over the redemption of the soul.

          What this means is that for the Christian to better themselves, since they already know they are on the good path, on the right path, then all they need to do is stay on it. Since the Biblical worldview is complete and superior, having the only power for the redemption of the soul, then the saints do not need to change to better themselves; rather, they simply need to remain rooted in Christ.  They do not need new first principles, metaphysics, or ethics.  They do not need new choices, or voices; they do not need a brand new idea, program or concept.  The Biblical Worldview already has in it, the depthless treasures of God's knowledge, power, love and redemption.  In any case, God did not give Joshua a new Book of Leviticus when he took over for Moses; rather, because God had already given Adam, and Moses the truth, He gives Joshua the same truth: God gives Joshua and us the same path, the good path.  Any other choice, or concept or path would be an intellectually inferior and unhealthy path for the Christian

          Yet, for the unbeliever since they never had the truth; or that is, because they never had the right rudimentary-principle to begin with, then in order to better themselves, they must try new traditions, new sciences and new doctrines that man invents; yet, for all these new choices and changing they are never better off than before. Their worldview is in a constant nightmare of flux.  They attempt to better themselves by going from change to change, or from new doctrine to new doctrine; that is, they go from wrong to wrong, from mistaken to mistaken: always searching but never finding.  They live in a constantly moving fairytale of horror.  Their fairytales of sciences, traditions and doctrines are always changing, sometimes to their opposites, but still all this change does not give them truth or perfection.

          In fact, chapter 2:23 tells us, all the traditions, and inventions and the new changes in man's doctrines does not cleans the soul from sin: "no value against the indulgence of the flesh." This idea of "change to better" concept is to mask over the fact they are morons; morons who with all their doctrines and changing doctrines have no power to bring their souls redemption from its lusts.

          Understanding this background helps us to know why Paul is telling us of the kingdom of the Son of His love, and this for two reason: (1) to give us a robust revelation of Christ to know and deduce from in order to have all things needful to build our faith and application in Christ, and (2) to paint a beautiful sunset of the glory of Christ to fill and saturate the saints hearts with joy in their supremely risen King. This superiority is to be contrasted with the inferior and destructive system-of-thinking which comes from the world.

 

 

DOCTRINE.

The kingdom of God, is the motion of God's love for His SON.

 

First, we will inquire what God's Kingdom is. Secondly, we will discover what it means for the Saints to be transported into this Kingdom; namely, the Spirit as the deity in action/motion as the Love of the Father to the Son and the Son to the Father.

          I. What is the nature of God's Kingdom? 

          FIRST, (1.) The meaning of kingdom, even by the Hebrew and Greek, refers to a king's sovereign rule over a particular area. This stands true for God and His sovereign rule over His kingdom, but it means more than this; for God, being a seamless Spirit, by being Infinite Being, is by His existence sovereign and ruling over all things and even over all things possible.  

          Sovereignty for God is not a mere expression or attribute; His sovereignty is not something God does on Tuesday afternoon, it is who He is. It is impossible for the Divine Nature not to be the active sovereign causality over all things, for such things are the Nature of God itself. God cannot stop being sovereign without stopping to be, or be God that is. This is the true God of the scriptures: The infinite Sovereign Existence

        The words God and lord in the Bible, both in Greek and Hebrew, means sovereignty.  But this sovereignty is also by scripture tied into God's very being or existence!  "Lord GOD" - Sovereign(Lord) Existence(GOD). Anything less is paganism.  

        And so, God's sovereignty "is" and not just possible. Possibility has no existence: it has no being! But God, by definition, means to exist!  Possible sovereignty "is not" sovereignty. 

         Moreover, God's Name Yahweh (repeated twice -I AM, I AM or I Exist, I Exist) means: infinite or endless existence or being.  Because being infinite means that God is spirit or Mind making thoughts, and God is everywhere (timeless), and because God's essence includes being sovereign, then there is no place or time where God is not already there and sovereign over it by His thoughts.  God's sovereignty being infinite is by necessity the causality of all things.  If God is not sovereign over everything, whether by choice or not, then He is neither sovereign nor infinite, but this would be a denial of two biblical propositions.  God is not possible endless existence (which is non-being), but actual and active infinite existence.  What this tells us is that it is impossible for the Divine Nature to be anything but active infinite sovereignty.

          For example: as my soul or spirit is properly thought as that something, which if removed I would no longer exist; so likewise, this is how it is with God's infinite sovereign causality.  If God for a moment is no longer active infinite sovereign causality then He no longer exists, for that is God's existence itself.  This is who the Christian God is.  This is the Name He game Himself

          God's sovereignty, therefore, is who He is.

          (2.) Power is not properly an aspect or individual attribute of God as it is His moral perfection, knowledge and happiness being an unstoppable force itself, because they are infinite.  It is not as though God chooses something and then uses infinite power to make sure it happens; rather, His choice-or holy desire and wisdom in the choice-is the infinite energy itself. When God chooses something His Holy delight and wisdom, involved in the choice-being infinite itself-moves with infinite motion and energy to accomplish.

          See, if God's infinite wisdom and pleasure and goodness, which is His energy itself is not making something happen then nothing happens, for this is the only power in the universe; as Jesus puts it, only God who is the true infinite has "life in Himself," or that is the power of self-existence; but God's self-existence is infinite sovereign causality.   

          Therefore, God Himself must make every decision and cause all things to happen.  If not, then the infinite energy of God's love, holiness and wisdom is not there, which means God not there, which is total nonsense and false for we know God is everywhere present. (Psalm 139, Jeremiah 23:24, Hebrews 1:3- Christ upholding all things by His power means He is there, i.e. His upholding power).

          (3.) Jesus told Pilate in John 18 that His "kingdom is not of this world." Because Jesus already rules and is sovereign over all things, then the idea of kingdom that Jesus is conveying is more than His sovereign rule, for He surly rules over this world.

          What the kingdom means in addition to sovereign rule we shall investigate next; namely, the infinite motion of the Spirit being the Love of the Father over the Son and the Son over the Father.

          SECONDLY,  consider the apostle's use of kingdom in his letter to the Romans; 14:17, "For the kingdom of God is not eating and drinking, but righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit."[5]

          The kingdom of God is ascribed to the awesome power of the Holy Spirit living in the Saints as righteousness is illuminated out of them in joy. This contrasts nicely with how the scriptures describe the kingdom of darkness, where this kingdom is the curse of death over the souls of man, which leads them to be bound harshly under the power of sin and Satan.  Romans 5:21, "As sin reigned in death."

          The human soul being dead toward God's value and beauty-not able to comprehend God's Kingdom (1 Corin. 2:14)-is in this condition taken advantage of by the power of sin; that is, sin inclines the soul in deceitfulness, to find wickedness and evil lovely and worthy to pursue.  The outcome of this predicament is so bad off that every man or women born from Adam does not have the ability to simply submit to God's command, even God's wonderful command to find forgiveness and love, and cleansing in His Son (Romans 8:7, "Does not submit to God's law, nor can [the dead soul] do so.").  This is the power of sin and Satan (Eph. 1:2; 2 Cor. 4:4), which is recognized by Scripture as the kingdom of darkness.  As believers are under the motion of the love of the Holy Spirit; so likewise, unbelievers are under the motion of the dark spirit; 1 John 5:19, "the world around us is under the power and control of the evil one." NLT

          In fact, all sinners and unbelieves are even called the "darkness" itself in Ephesians 5:8. Why? Because they are citizens of the kingdom of darkness.  In a broad stroke, these two kingdoms reigning the hearts of men and angels is centrally about one issue; the glory of the Son's public supremacy and if they are for or against this; the kingdom of darkness is against this, the kingdom of God is for it.  Indeed, by God's design and direct causality of all things, the whole creation is like the spokes of a wheel, which turn as a common soul for the central purpose of the glory of the Father, through the public supremacy of the risen Christ.

          And so, the question before us therefore is this: what does this reveal about the original kingdom of God; that is, what does the Spirit being the joy in the saints teach us about the kingdom of God in general, as applied to the Trinity?

          (1.) What we learn is that the original Kingdom is the motion of the Spirit in the action of the Father's love for the Son and the Son for Father.  Before creation there was no created thing for God to rule over, well, since there was nothing existing before God created, except God. 

          Keeping this in mind, let us remember that creation by God's design is a reflection of God's glories. Even Jesus Christ, in creation, is the image of the Father, and the gospel is a kaleidoscope of God's glories on display. As the Son is the image of the Father in the invisible, so in creation this is reflected in how the church is the image of the Son, (Rom. 8:29). Another such glory is the Holy Spirit, as the love of the Father over the Son. 

          All the members of the Trinity share in the Divine Nature, but some attributes are ascribed more to certain members in the Scripture. By this we are able to see distinctives regarding each personhood of the Trinity.  All the attributes and perfection of the Divine Nature can be boiled down to these three: (1) Moral beauty, (2) Wisdom/knowledge, and (3) Love.  Each of these is credited in a special manner to a member of the Trinity.

          The Trinity is the Father as the original. We see this in that both the Son is from the Father, John 16:28, and the Spirit is from the Father, John 15: 26. The Father is also attributed especially with moral beauty or holiness, Ex.34:6-8, John 17:11, 1 Pet.1:16. 

          The Son of God is especially attributed with being the image/Knowledge/logic of God: 2 Cor. 4:4, John 1:1-3, 2 Cor.1:24, Luke 11:49, Matt. 23:34.  Christ being called the image of God in scripture and then also attributed with knowledge and wisdom means that Christ is the generated comprehension that Father has of himself.  If I could right now, by the energy of my thoughts, see a perfect picture of both my physical spiritual body and understand my every thought and soul perfectly it would still not cause a second person to be generated, but God whose thoughts is His infinite energy itself does. I use the "generate" carefully, in that, I do not mean to express a time difference with the Father existing and the Son, for God's thoughts are not linear like ours, and so there is not time difference.  Because Christ is the perfect image of the Father, Jesus Christ, is in the creation, the Person who communicates in perfect wisdom/logic the truths of God, John 1:1-18.

          The Spirit is especially attributed by Scripture as the Love and Pleasure of God: see Luke 3:22 & compare "dove" to Songs of Solomon 2:4; 5:2.  But this love is more specific, for the Scriptures show God's love, as in Luke 3:22, is for the Son as it shows in John 1:18, where Christ is in God's bosom or love that is.  This love is also shown to be from the Son to the Father: John 14:31, "But that the world may know that I love the Father," see also Psalm 40:8.  Because the Love is shown both from the Father to the Son and the Son to the Father the Spirit is therefore, shown to be the infinite energy of motion of love shared between the Father and Son; in fact, Revelation 22:1 shows the Spirit-being called here the "water of life"-as proceeding from the combination of the Throne of the Father and of the Son.

          (2.) The Spirit is the Deity in action, for He is the infinite motion of constant energy of love shared back and forth from the Father and Son. This action of the Spirit is likewise reflected in creation as, Zechariah 4:6, informs us, "Not by might nor by power, but by My Spirit,' Says the LORD of hosts." And this "might" is particularly ascribed to that power of regeneration, which brings life out of death, out of nothing, as in Ezekiel 36:27, and then chapter 37, being an antitype or analogy of this for the Saints in Christ, it says in verse 14, "I will put my Spirit in you and you shall live." This life is having eternal joy in knowing God.

          In any case, God's kingdom is not merely a sovereign rule, but endless love being poured over and into the heart; a sovereign love which nothing can interfere with, stop or resist. This indeed was the original kingdom of God; namely, the Spirit as the sovereign, unstoppable-love shared from the Father to the Son and the Son to the Father.

          And so, even if earthly kingdoms are able to show a sovereign rule aspect of God's original kingdom, yet they often miss the most central aspect of that kingdom, the unstoppable motion of love.  As in many concepts of the N.T., an idea of what is God's Kingdom, was illustrated to us in the O.T., and in this instance this is done under the reign of Solomon's kingdom. God caused Solomon to have a kingdom so great and peaceful, and filled with such joyful servants that a Queen lost her breath at seeing its sight, saying: "Happy are your men and happy are your servants, who stand continually before you and hear your wisdom," 1 Kings 10:8.  The Father and Son stand "continually" before[6] each other in the unstoppable pleasure of Spirit, and in the new earth the saints will likewise stand continually before their God.

          "Before you and hear your wisdom." This is in fact the very joy of the Father as He sees His Son, who is the wisdom and image of the Father, who stands continually before Him. This is the glory that Son has with the Father, the very Glory which He longed to have restored to Him when He prayed, "And now, O Father, glorify Me together with Yourself, with the glory which I had with You before the world was."  And likewise, as the church is the image of the Son in the public, as the Son is to the Father, so the church as they continually stand before the Son in the new earth will find unending happiness in seeing the supreme wisdom of the Lamb.

          This original glory was granted to the Son, by the power of the Father, when the Son was seated by the right hand of the majesty on High, so that the Son is continually before the Majesty and the Majesty before the Son. It is here, in this context we are told of the Spirit, "waters of life," flowing from the Father and all who stand and drink these waters will be blessed. Indeed, the tree of life grows from this river (Rev. 22:2); that is, the fruit which the saints partake of is grown from the nutriment of the Love and pleasure of God for the Son and the Son for the Father.  The Kingdom of God is the unstoppable motion of love shared between the Father and the Son.[7]

          This is the Kingdom of God as it was before the creation. This is the kingdom of God which has been and is now shinning in the hearts of God's chosen ones in faith.  This is the kingdom of God which will reign supreme and unchallenged in the new earth.

          (3.) The world was especially made for the Son of God.

          "The world was made for the Son of God especially.  For God made the world for Himself from love to Himself.  God loves Himself only in a reflex act.  He views Himself[8] and so loves Himself.  Therefore, He makes the world for Himself viewed and reflected on the same with Himself repeated or begotten in His own idea, and that is His Son.  When God considers of making any thing for Himself He presents Himself[9] before Himself and views Himself as His End, and that viewing Himself is the same as reflecting on Himself or having an idea of Himself, and to make the world for the Godhead therefore viewed and understood, is to make the world for the Godhead begotten and that is to make the world for the Son of God." [10]

          The Father always seeing the image of His Son before Himself, in this light through reflex, made the world for Jesus as a gift. God is the Sun and Christ is the light shining from the Sun.  In this, when the Father looks, if you would, He only sees through seeing through His Son, His image who is always before Him. And so, when the Father contemplated in making the world He contemplated this as He viewed His Son before Him; by this the Father made the world chiefly, out of love, as a gift for His Son. This is why Christ is exalted with the public Preeminence and Supremacy and why all things are summed up in Him as the apostle tells in Ephesians 1:10, for the world was given to the Son for His public supremacy.  And the Son being the perfect image of the Father, His exultation is the Father's.

          By the Father's design Christ is the public central axis upon which all good is given (whether elect Saints or angels) for Christ's Name, and likewise to which all judgment is given for the public supremacy of Christ's Name.

"And {Jesus Christ} is before all things, and in Him all things consist. And He is the head of the body, the church, who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, that in all things He may have the preeminence. For it pleased the Father that in Him all the fullness should dwell....

For in Him dwells all the fullness of the Godhead bodily: and you are complete in Him, who is the head of all principality and power. "

 

          II. What does it mean for the saints to be conveyed into this Kingdom?

          FIRST, how do we have the Spirit? By the imputed righteousness of Jesus Christ.  

          Romans, 8:2, "For the law of the Spirit of life, in Christ Jesus, has set me from the from the law of Sin and death."  The requirement of the O.T. law is for the Saints replaced with the law of the Spirit of life.  Our verse informs us how this is, "in Christ Jesus."  Now, one of our pervious verses from Romans 5 deals with the same topic.

Romans 5:21, "As sin reigned in death, even so grace might reign through righteousness to eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord."

          Jesus suffered the punishment we deserved, and also, Jesus gave to us a righteousness we could have never merited.  See, the reason sin ruled over us in death is because the curse of death is a spiritual death toward God and His Kingdom, that is, natural man is dead in regard to the motion of God's love.  So of course sin wreaks havoc in this environment!  Man is dead toward God and His glory and love.  Thus, here comes sin and presents the fleeting treasures of Egypt.  That is, we are lead away and "hardened through the deceitfulness of sin."  It is deceitful because although it promises life its wages are more death (Rom. 6:23), leading to the final "second death."  It is a vicious cycle.

          The free gift of Christ is much greater in degree.  Whereas in Adam we are credited with death, in Christ we are not only credited with forgiveness to wipe away our death so that we are "alive" to God, but in Christ we become much more alive to God than Adam originally had. This righteousness is the perfect living Jesus lived as the Godman on earth.  The foundation of the Spirit in the saints is the "through righteousness," in our verse.  The credited righteousness of Jesus Christ to us is the foundation of "grace reigning" in the believer's life.  Grace-as the Spirit of love-reigns in the soul to the amount and quality of righteousness present.

          "For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus..."  The "in Christ Jesus" is referring to the credited righteousness of Jesus to the accounts of God's chosen ones.  The law of the Spirit of Life rules over the person who is credited with Christ's righteousness! In any case, what we see here is that the Spirit of life will not reside in just any old house, but will dwell to the degree of how righteous that house is.  In Christ Jesus we are infinitely righteous; we are given in Christ the "much more."  Christian's have a boundless ocean regarding the measure of the Spirit of life that dwells in them, to animate them, to move and direct them and open up their minds to drink in the love of Christ!

          The "law" part, of the "Spirit of Life" is seeing and tasting God as a treasure and a pearl of great price!  To obey God's commands, is for every man or woman born.  But for the Christian the Spirit's specific law given to them is loving God, as the Spirit opens up our minds to Him.  The Spirit sovereignly opens up the mind to taste and see that God is glorious and is for them in Christ. To oppose such a law is foolish. To do so would be like a priest saying to the husband, "you may now kiss the bride," only for the husband to say, "do I have to?" The Spirit opens our souls to see God more beautiful than how a spouse sees their other on their wedding day and the "law" is the Spirit saying to the Christian, "you may now kiss your heavenly Spouse."

         Jesus already fulfilled a life of perfect living and then credited this to the elect as if they lived it. With the righteous requirement being fulfilled in the believer, the Spirit takes advantage of this great situation and does something wonderful.  The Spirit indwells the Christian opening up their minds to savor the glory of Christ and His law is one simple command, LOVE HIM!  Love the LORD God with all your heart and soul!

         The Law already being fulfilled by Jesus, and now credited to the believer, the Holy Spirit now breaths into the soul of the Christian in life giving power, "BEHOLD GOD!," and the soul breaths out, "God is beautiful!"

         For those credited with the righteousness of Christ the Holy Spirit lives in them and rules them by leading them in faith and by understanding the beauty of the Lord.  They walk by the Spirit because the Spirit is causing them to see the knowledge of God and causes them to believe with joy in this knowledge.  They now see and believe God is near them, and so they pray continually; they walk by the Spirit of life.  They know and believe Jesus died for their sins, and so they actually pray for forgiveness and strength every day; they walk in the motion the Spirit; they walk in the motion love shared between the Father and Son.

          And so, because Jesus' death and resurrection was, at a definite time and a definite place, separate from man being there at that definite time and place, separate from man being involved (save their sin being imputed to Christ), separate from man's choices, means Jesus' mediation is an act of accomplished salvation. Because of this, being reborn into spiritual life is an irrevocable effect that will overtake and blossom in every person whom Jesus died for.  That is, Jesus death is the predestination itself (Eph. 1:5 "by Jesus"), for Jesus at a definite time paid for the sins of His chosen ones and gave the payment to the Father, at a definite time and place (Heb.9:12).  The Father who held our records already received the payment.  The church already belongs to Jesus at that time and place: the names in the Lambs book of Life (Rev.13:8). 

The time and place Jesus causes His chosen ones to be born again is a shear sovereign act of God upon His elect. "The wind blows where it wishes." 

         Jesus Christ goes so far as telling Nicodemus that before someone is born into spiritual life they, "cannot see the Kingdom of God," apart from first coming into spiritual life.  Jesus' statement is so rudimentary it is almost sarcastic; Jesus is saying, as an illustration, that a person cannot see anything, well, until they are born and exist in the world.  You cannot see before you exist; your eye cannot see before it exists! This is so obvious, but Jesus speaks so candid because some morons think spiritually dead people (that is those under the curse of death and sin -Rom. 5:21) are able to believe in God.  But the issue of this is as stupid as saying a person is able to see trees and mountains before they exist!  Yet, the Kingdom of God is the motion of love shared between the Father and Son, as the Holy Spirit; thus, if you do not already have this motion of love in your soul, then you cannot even see it, let alone believe it; for this is an invisible motion, from an invisible world, which natural man does not exist in. You cannot see the spiritual motion of this Kingdom until you exist in the spiritual world, but before unbelievers are born again, they do not exist in this world (that is, they do no exit in sharing in the motion of the love between the Father and Son); and so, there is no method for faith to exist (which is a spiritual act) until the person first exists within this spiritual kingdom. 

          Now, once you exist in this spiritual world, which is the endless motion of love, then you belong to it: you are already in the motion!  For this is what the KINGDOM is, the motion of God's love!  Once you exist this is world you breath as naturally as a new born baby does, which is what faith is; it is breathing in the spiritual world; faith is to the spiritual as breath is to the physical. It is the Spirit who breathes God's love in your soul and then your soul breaths out in belief: I LOVE GOD. Once the new earth is established and we see our Jesus Christ, face to face, then the breathing is seeing fact to face, whereas now it is seeing, in the endless motion of love of the Spirit, through faith.

          In any case, by the death and resurrection of Christ the Saints are brought into kingdom of God, by the Spirit being the endless motion of and energy of Love shared between the Father and Son, being poured over and into their souls.  This is the greatest gift of the gospel, God giving us Himself!

          SECOND, what the Holy Spirit does in the Saint.

          This has in large part been answered above, but to further this more I ask you to consider, 2 Corinthians 13:14, "The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the communion of the Holy Spirit be with you all. Amen."

          Grace is a stream of God's love, so when our verse tells us the "grace of our lord Jesus Christ," it is love; love which is designed to touch and hold sinners and bring them close to Himself as righteous saints, and this through the great cost of the cross.  And so, by this we see, the Love of Jesus and Love of the Father comes to us by the "communion of the Holy Spirit." Since the Spirit is the love of the Father for the Son and the Son for the Father, the saint's fellowship with the Father or Son is by the Spirit, or that is, they partake of and enjoy this love by the communion of the Spirit in their souls. This is what fellowship means: to partake of the mutual benefits.   This is why we eat the Lords supper.  The eating show us that as Christ enjoys the Father in the love of the Spirit, we partake of this enjoyment with Christ, just as eating tasty bread and wine is actually partaking of its enjoyments and benefits.  The church does this together because church, as the "one" body of Christ, partakes of Him together.

 

APPLICATION.

 

          "That you may walk worthy of the Lord,...Strengthened with all might, according to His glorious power...(1:10-12).  This power is the Holy Spirit, the motion of God's love. It is the power that raised Jesus from the dead and seated Him at the Father's right hand in victory over His enemies and ruling as the King of grace over His church, Rom. 1:4.  This therefore, is the same Spirit who raises the Saints from the dead and strengthens them to believe in awesome power!  "The exceeding greatness of His power toward us who believe, according to the working of His might power," Eph. 1:19. 

          Some overlook the supernatural of faith.  The same power that raised Christ from the dead into all authority, over all authority in heaven, is indeed the same power that must be worked for any one saint to believe and keep believing. Yes! The energy and power in creating a universe would be too small to describe what is used to make any one person believe and keep believing. This is why trivial-drama and complaining among saints is so gross.  If your friend for family member woke up believing today, then it is no less spectacular than if you could see God create the worlds out of nothing, except by sheer unstoppable power. In this light, praises, forgivness and aw and love, and pressing hard into the kingdom of God should be the life of the saints.

           Romans 15:13, "Now may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that you may abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit". 2 Timothy 1:7, "For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but [a Spirit] of power and of love and of a sound mind." The power and love of the mind of the saint, is the Spirit, who is the power and love of God.

          Seeing that the sovereign energy of love, which has always been the Kingdom of God, is now Kingdom of God and forever will be the Kingdom of God, is the Holy Spirit, then it is natural to see that when the saints image their God, it will be done by this same Kingdom, for the glory of the Father.

          Precisely because this is all by the direct Sovereign action of God, the saints are brought to bring Him glory by sharing in and pressing into the communion of the Godhead.  Some inferior thinking might say, if God is so sovereign why is it necessary for the saints to pursue anything? Yet, this question is a betrayal that it is not even asked under the presumption that God is sovereign, when it acts like it does.  That is, if a Saint was nothing more than a rock this might be the case, might.  Indeed, the actual sovereign will of God is for the saints to bring Him glory precisely by their partaking of the communion of the Godhead through Christ Jesus; this gives infinite value to the saints pursuit of God; the same infinite value of the Father's love for the Son to have public supremacy.  The fact that God is sovereign in making this happen does not remove God's sovereign will for the saints to actually do it, in fact, by this understanding only-does the saints seeking and partaking of God's love-have any value. When a person gets what they most wanted and planned to have, it, well, pleases them. When God gets what He planned to have, it greatly pleases Him. The Scripture makes this so obvious and simple, but it seems some theologians and laypeople hate the obvious. "Work out your own salvation with fear and trembling; for it is God who works in you both to will and to do for His good pleasure," Phil.2:12-13

          FIRST, our Letter to the Colossians provides the saints 3 basic applications to image their Lord in the power of the Spirit.

          (1.) Moral beauty.  After being forgiven, by so great a redemption, the saints image this by being merciful. Colossians 3:12,  "Therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, put on tender mercies, kindness, humility, meekness, longsuffering; bearing with one another, and forgiving one another, if anyone has a complaint against another; even as Christ forgave you, so you also must do. But above all... put on love."  Mercy and forgives (and their categories) are mentioned 5 times.  How is one able to claim they know God's mercy and not show it?  How can one say God's mercy in is IN then, transformed them, and they barely move in the motion of mercy? How can one claim to be caught up in the motion of God's love and yet not walk in this same motion? Which motion are you under? The Father of lights, or the father of lies?  You will be caught up into one of these two motions; the question is which one.

          Now, mercy is a stream of love, which is why Love is above all.  Jesus Christ, for the love of His Father-and through His love of the Father, His love of the church-left heaven to die in horrific crucifixion to save the church, and so, if this same endless motion of love, or that is, if this kingdom is also in you, then nothing will overcome you, as nothing overcame our forerunner, Jesus Christ.  Even suffering, or devils, or evil people, or perils will not overcome you from loving God above all things and loving your neighbor as yourself. 

          Therefore, nothing will separate you from the love of the Father, which we have through Jesus Christ, the darling of God.  The Father is no less likely to reject those who are united to His Son, as He would reject His Son. The Love of the Father for His Son and the Son for the Father is so great this Love is the person of the Holy Spirit.  This is an unstoppable, infinite motion and endless energy of love. Those who are clothed in His Son's righteousness are so likewise loved by the Father.  It is the Father's "pleasure" that in Christ all the fullness of the Godhead should dwell.  Colossians 1:19, "For it pleased the Father that in Him all the fullness should dwell." How great is then the Father's love for the Saints who are part of the body of Christ? And so, the Father no less finds it is His "good pleasure" to give the saints the kingdom itself, as He gave its right hand to His Son: Luke 12:32, "Do not fear, little flock, for it is your Father's good pleasure to give you the kingdom."  Christ is the Sun of the new Jerusalem, "the Lamb is its light," Rev. 21:23. Therefore, it is the Father's pleasure to cause the saints to shine as suns in the Kingdom, and that to the degree they are clothed with the Sun's righteousness! Matthew 13:43, "Then the righteous will shine forth as the sun in the kingdom of their Father. He who has ears to hear, let him hear!"  This shows the unmeasurable degree of the motion of love that will so fill the Saints in heaven that they shine like suns because of it.

          (2.) Wisdom and knowledge.  We are told we are complete in Christ and that in the Father and Son is hidden all the treasures of knowledge.  In God's revelation we have all we need for a complete system-of-thinking about the world and beyond.  And so, we are told to be rooted and built up in Christ and to be establish in the faith with thanksgiving. And in 3:16 we are told to "let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom, teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual song, singing with grace in your hears to the Lord."

          (3.) Love.  Since we are filled with the kingdom of God, by the Sovereign action of God, then to be filled with the motion of God love, the saints pray. "Continue earnestly in prayer, being vigilant in it with thanksgiving," (4:2). Jude likewise says, "building yourselves up on your most holy faith, praying in the Holy spirit, keep yourselves in the love of God." 

         

          REBUKE, there no stopping infinity.  There is no contending with infinite energy which is in constant motion.  But those who refuse to repent and place themselves under the hand of God, in the revelation of Christ Jesus, try to do just this, however short it will be. Yet, consider the joy it will be not to content with the infinite motion of love, but rather, to be swept up into its flow.

          Is your tiny, stubborn, lustful heart worth rejecting the love of God in Christ for?  

         

          ENCOURAGEMENT,

          Luke 4:14, "Then Jesus, being filled with the Holy Spirit, returned from the Jordan and was led by the Spirit into the wilderness... Then Jesus returned in the power of the Spirit." Jesus was strengthened by the Spirit in the wilderness. In the fasting and in the removal of friends and family Jesus learned and showed He only needed the Kingdom of God in His Soul; that is, the endless motion of love of the Father strengthened Jesus. We see this in particular by Jesus fellowshipping with the Father by holding onto every word that proceeds from the mouth of God. We too learn this, for our Father sees to it.  God does not remove our helplessness or desperation; rather, God removes all other saviors and teaches us to lean upon Him so that we clearly see that all our righteousness is in Christ and that all our sufficiency is in Christ.

          What a wonder it is that the manner in which the Father teaches us of Christ's gift of righteousness and the gift of His sufficiency is through the endless motion of the love being illuminated in our hearts. 

          What a glorious law to have: to enjoy and partake of, and be animated by the Kingdom of God in our hearts! Thanks be to God.

          Oh, what wonders of wonders, this is!

          This infinite motion of unstoppable love, this Kingdom of God, will accumulate one day when The Lamb will brings His church into His inner Chambers of love (Temple), in the new earth, telling her that she never has to leave. "They will never have to leave," Rev.3:12 NLT.

         

 



[1] Vincent Cheung, Commentary on Colossians, 2008, page 4

[2] Vincent Cheung, Commentary on Colossians, 2008, page 35

[3] Lilbd, pg.35

[4] Some tend to think this is referring to angels, but this is naïve; the structure of the verse and of the Paul's underlining contrasting of the Christian system-of-thinking with the world's would lead us to see rudimentary principles as referring to the idea of one's system-of-thinking or worldview as the most natural reading of the text.

[5] This shows that the Kingdom of God (as the motion of God's love for His Son)-is in a sense, when regarding the saints-is the Kingdom of the Saints, for they are part of Christ's body.

[6] As Son is the image or outshining of the Father.

[7] Being immutable and knowing all things, it is not as if God is surprised and gets "emotionally disturbed or bothered" whether with joy or sadness. Yet, God does have an eternal infinite emotion of joy and love shared between the Father and Son.  The holy Spirit , or that is, this joy is a "true beginningless infinite." And so, often when the scriptures speaks how God is surprised emotionally is just God lowering Himself to our level and relating in a way we understand.

Now regarding God's emotions, particularly when describing them changing, anthropopathism is at play, similarly to how the scripture says God sees us with His eyes.  There are many reasons why God would do this; for example, God could be testing our faith to see if we will keep praying and knocking for Him.  This is obvious and simple, but I guess some theologians do not like simple and obvious.

            God does not experiences other affections other than this passion of love as part of the Divine Nature itself.

With that being said the scriptures do teach Jesus Christ the Godman experienced emotion(s) other than love to His Father; such as, compassion for the multitudes and the elect. Now, it can be said from eternity ago that in His mind God knew and experienced these in His decrees, which is true to an extent, but I would also say it is only this Love/Joy(Spirit) that is properly and originally the Divine Nature, whereas all others are through the public God"man" Jesus Christ: so that the one is a beginningless infinite and the other a type of mathematical infinite.

            The image of God for man, regarding God's disposition/affection, is only this Love; as for creatures, all other forms of good emotions are nothing more than streams of this chief affection, or image. In this way our image means to love, prize God the way the Father does the Son and the Son to the Father; this is the chief end of the gospel good for the church.

I would also note that all other passions for God through the Godman Jesus are only streams or effects or derivatives of God having this one passion of loving-joy. Hate for Jesus is the effect of His strong love of His Father not exalted by the creation as it ought; weeping, that the joy of His father, which is highest joy is not lived in the chosen people and so their joy is as nothing. (etc.) Sinful affections are nothing more than the disobedience and corruption of the Divine Nature and it affection of Love, as Satan does with all the aspects of God; he perverts the Trinity with his version of it, as shown in Revelation; sacrifice, as He does in pagan religions and so with all good things

[8] Jesus Christ

[9] Christ Jesus

[10] Jonathan Edwards, from his unpublished essay on the Trinity.  Emphases and light copyediting by Oshea Davis

 
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